Yea, Yea. Nay, Nay

"And again it is written, thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths; But verily, verily, I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair black or white; But let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever cometh of more than these is evil." (Matthew 5, 3 Nephi 12)

The common interpretation of this teaching is in effect "our word is our bond." But if it expected by ourselves, or by others that our word is our bond, then what is the difference between that expectation and a swear? When the time comes that we are unable to deliver a "word-bond" expectation, it is no different than an expectation made by swearing. And we begin to condemn ourselves and be hated by others. But I wonder if what Christ was teaching isn't the opposite of that sentiment.

The scripture says "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man that he should repent." (1 Samuel 15) Man does and should repent, so his swearing of one day may need to be repented of the next because he sees a better way. What he says "yes" to on one day, he may need, after re-evaluating, need to say "no" the next. However if he has sworn, or has a word-bond expectation, he is "bound" or "in bondage" mentally and physically. The gospel aims to free man from bondage. Only God is in need of no repentance and only God can legitimately swear.

False priests lay burdens upon people that are grievous to be borne. They tell followers to "magnify their calling" and "do their duty."

"Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, they will make you observe and do; for they are ministers of the law, and they make themselves your judges. But do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and lay on men's shoulders, and they are grievous to be borne; but they will not move them with one of their fingers." (Matthew 23:1-3, Inspired Version. Note the omission in this version of Christs insistence that those pretenders be obeyed.)

A "duty" is defined as: "a task or action that someone is required to perform." But a prophet taught "For behold, if a man being evil giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God." (Moroni 7:8)

False followers lay burdens upon themselves. God invited Israel to know him. Instead, they wanted a set of carnal commandments and feasts and ordinances to rule their lives.

All of our power is given to us by God. We, therefore, cannot speak for God and what he allots unto us. For it may be his will that we become ill, or get into an accident, or that we die. Jesus makes it clear that not only should we not swear to man, but we should not make any oaths to God. We cannot promise what only God can deliver, for we cannot make one hair black or white.


I believe that a person who desires to follow God starts out in a preparatory, or Aaronic state, in which they begin to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. But as light begins to take hold upon a person, they see that their motivations must change, and that the greater the light they acquire, the more that they see Love can be the only true motivation. They carefully feel their way to God until they meet Perfect Love, which casteth out all fear.